Tag: Soccer

End of Soccer season!

After a long, fun-filled season of soccer, I can finally say that it’s over. Finishing the season off with a win against Rifle, our final record was 10-2-3, which I personally think qualifies as a good season.

The season started out pretty slow, with me playing less than a quarter of the game on average. At the start of the season, I started out on defense, which I was pretty disappointed at, as I have an extreme liking towards forward, and towards the middle of the season, I got moved up to right wing, and eventually switched to left wing because I could cross it into the middle with my left foot better than most people on the team, and much better than the previous players who played left wing. As the season progressed, I got more and more playing time. Two games ago, I got to start both halves, and I played for around 70 of 80 minutes of the game, which was one, tiring, and two, extremely fun.

Dad and me after a game in Glenwood Springs
Dad and me after a game in Glenwood Springs

Although I didn’t get a goal in the back of the net this year, I had some good shots (not to mention some bad ones where I completely just missed the goal), and in the last game, I took my first corner kick of the season on the right corner, thinking to myself that I hadn’t ever taken a corner this season. I ended up nailing a giant kick, over the keeper’s head, and one of my teammates put it in. That was probably the highlight of the game for me, as I didn’t ever get an actual shot on goal, but overall it was a fun last game, with the final score being 3-1. Here’s a video of my teammate putting the ball in the goal from my corner kick:

 

What’s really funny to me is when I think back to just before the season, when I was contemplating whether or not to even do soccer. I hadn’t competitively played in two years, I hadn’t even kicked a ball for the past ten months, and I’d never actually had to try out for a team before. After I decided to try out, I procrastinated practicing, ending up only getting around an hour of practice in before tryouts.

Tryouts were stressful, because all around me I saw kids my age and older that had obviously been practicing their ball skills, and most of them knew each other, whereas I only knew two or three people. We ran hard, with the coaches timing us on long-distance (well, not really long distance – just one ~1.5 mile run and one ~2 mile run), and I honestly believe that was one of the only reasons I made the team – Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t the worst one on the team, but I definitely was not the best. When we were running those timed runs, I knew that while many people who were trying out had much better ball skills than me, I was probably more in shape than many of the kids there. I ended up being the second fastest Freshman, beating some Sophomores and a few Juniors.

When the end of the third day of tryouts came, I was nervous – I didn’t know how I placed, or if I even made a team. The coaches told us that they had made some tough decisions, having to cut 17 people. When their final talk was over, I returned to the locker room to see my name on the list of people who had made the team. I was overjoyed to see my name on that list, and I couldn’t wait to start playing again.

I’d say my first high school sport season was a good experience – Even though my soccer skills were better two years ago than they are now, I played my part on the team, and compensated for my lack of skill with a ball with hard work and speed. I made some new friends, who I think I’ll be hanging out with in the future.

Well, now that the season’s over, it’s time to prepare for snowboarding – I expect to qualify for Nationals again, and hopefully I can get on the podium in at least one competition this year. I think the past three years of boarding have all led up to this season – This is the season where I’m at the top of my age category, have had previous experience competing and racing, and have had a taste of what Nationals is like. I don’t know what the season after this will look like, I might not even compete, so I think this is where I can really do something worth remembering. The season starts in less than a month, with Arapahoe Basin opening today, and I think I’m ready for it.

4 more days!

That’s right, it’s only four more days of being 14 for me, and then I’ll officially be 15 (and able to get my learners permit too…). Unfortunately, my birthday falls on a Monday this year, and since I’m not homeschooled anymore… That means I’ll have to escape from school celebrate either late at night, on a different day, or even better, both!

Offstring YoYoing at Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend
Offstring YoYoing at Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend

It’s crazy to think that one year ago, I was in Nashville, TN, high jumping with not a care in the world (well, mostly). I really have to say, those months that we were in Nashville were amazing. Playing tennis almost every day, getting to high jump and get coached on it twice a week, scoring a ton playing on a rec soccer team, and most importantly, celebrating my birthday on my birthday, having gotten ahead in schoolwork previously.

Well, snowboarding starts soon, since Arapahoe Basin is scheduled to open in the next few weeks, so hopefully I’ll be able to get out there and shred some. Soccer’s been going well, and our last game I finally felt like I played great, even though we lost 3-1. My next game is today, followed by one on Saturday. Without going into too much detail, school’s been going fine. Grades in a few of my classes have gone down, while a few have gone up.

Steering away from that topic, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite places we traveled to or stayed in the past year – Nashville, Sedona, Atlanta, Austin, Keystone, Vegas, New Orleans, Ouray

  1. Sedona, AZ – June/July 2016 – Definitely at the top of the list. Although the temperature was sweltering hot, I had access to a high school track with a high jump pit, got to play tennis every day we were there, hiked to some pretty incredible places, and went to YoYoFactory. To top it all off, we got to participate in a 5-day Nike Tennis Camp, which I consider to be one of the most fun weeks of my life this past year.
  2. Austin, TX – November 2015, May 2016 – For me, going back to Austin is always an enjoyable experience (unless it’s in the dead of summer and it’s over 110 degrees). Staying for a few weeks last November definitely was a great decision, since we got to see all our friends down south once again. In May, we took a plane down to Austin, and even though it was only for a few days, I packed lots of memories into them. There’s something about Austin that just makes me want to always keep revisiting.
  3. Nashville, TN – August-November 2016 – Staying in Nashville was awesome, for a few reasons. We got to see our relatives, play tennis a TON, and most importantly (for me), I got a high jump coach, and got to high jump around two to three times a week! Celebrating my birthday here was fun, because I had a lot of family there, as my aunts and uncles that weren’t already there flew in from Texas. I had the crazy opportunity to attend a few weeks of a philosophy college course taught by my parent’s good friend, who is a professor at Belmont. I’d say I learned a substantial amount, and I still think about Descartes, Plato, and all the other philosophers and their ideas today.
  4. Atlanta, GA – November 2015 – We only stayed in Atlanta for a few days, but it honestly seemed like longer. We got to do and see many things, once even hitting the Georgia Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Museum, and the CNN Center all in one day. I have a lot of memories here, and I hope to return in the future.
  5. New Orleans, LA – November 2015 – On our way back to Austin last year, we passed through New Orleans. I got the chance to try my first beignet, not to mention a variety of amazing foods. We were only here for a few days, but it was an experience I want to repeat in the future.
  6. Keystone, CO – December 2015-June 2016 – We’ve been to and stayed in Keystone so many times it’s hard not to include it on this list. I have so many memories snowboarding on the mountain here, running snow-covered paths in the winter, and exploring the surrounding county. Although we’re not staying there this year, I know we’ll visit a lot this winter season.
  7. Ouray, CO – June 2016 – Staying here earlier this summer to kick off our summer travels was amazing. The views were amazing, the hikes were amazing, and the town was amazing. Almost every day we’d visit the park, whether it was to play Frisbee, go swimming in the hot spring pool, hang out in our hammocks, or offstring YoYo in the grass.
  8. Flint, TX – May 2016 – Earlier this year, after staying in Austin for around a week, we got the (rare) opportunity to see our best friends, the Halls, at their home in Flint. Just like every other time we see them, we packed a ton into just a few days, and had a crazy fun time. We played tennis, ultimate Frisbee, went for a run in the Texas heat, played some YoYo, and least importantly of all, played some Minecraft 😛
  9. Park City, UT – March 2016 – During the spring season, we took a trip out to Park City, UT with our friends the Burdiks. Although the snow wasn’t great, we had a great time shredding up the mountain with our boards, and in my case, my snowskate. Our friends had just gotten snowskates, and there was a snowboard run all the way down to the parking lot, so we decided to race some snowskatecross (it’s a thing). Naturally, I won. Most of the time. Well, the only time I would lose was when I gave them over a 20 second head start. Anyways, it was a great trip, and I definitely want to return.
  10. Las Vegas, NV – July 2016 – After leaving Sedona, we took a trip out to Las Vegas, Nevada, and before I start summarizing our time there, let me just say it was hot. Very, very hot. And that probably affected my experience there. Well, that and all the smoke coming from various casinos. We stayed at an awesome hotel, and every day we’d go out and explore the city. At night, the city was so bright and colorful it was a bit disorienting. We explored all over, walking all over downtown and on the Strip. I even went for a run in 115 degree weather (wrong idea), and that was… a unique experience. Dad celebrated his birthday here, and we went out for an awesome dinner at Therapy.

So those are my top ten favorite places I’ve been to in the last year! If I have time, I’ll try to write another blog post tomorrow or on the weekend, and I’ll hopefully include some pictures.